Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Way Back When-sday: 4th of July Fun Facts

July 4th has always been one of my favorite days. Next to Christmas, it's probably my favorite holiday. In Minnesota it means people head to the lake, light fireworks off the end of their docks and spend time with family and friends eating yummy food.

Most of us celebrate this wonderful day, but how many of us stop and ask why we're doing it? How many of us think about the first July 4th, in 1776 when 56 men adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring freedom from the tyranny of England and laying forth the reasons for a revolution?

Here are ten fun facts to ponder as you celebrate America's 237th birthday.

1. In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the newly independent United States. In 2011, 311.7 million Americans celebrated the 4th of July.

2. Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. Two of them passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The two had been political rivals and then friends later in life. The other was James Monroe, who died July 4, 1831.

3. Only one president was born on the 4th of July: President Calvin Coolidge (30th president, served from 1923-1929).

4. The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It was initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, but then it was revised and the final version was adopted two days later.

5. The 4th of July didn't become a legal holiday in the United States until 1941.

6. The first official 4th of July party was held at the White House in 1801.

7. More than 74 million American will celebrate the 4th of July with a barbeque.

8. Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day, as well as 700 million pounds of chicken.

9. The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was 26-year-old Edward Rutledge. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin. He was 70. Most of the signers were in their 30s and 40s.

10. The American flag was adopted on June 14, 1777.

What about you? What do you plan to do to celebrate the 4th of July?

Please join me on Melissa Tagg's blog today. I'm a guest, along with Alena Tauriainen & Lindsay Harrel. We're sharing the premise for the books we brainstormed during our writing retreat last week. You can find the blog here.


  1. I remember that fact about the Fourth not being a legal holiday until 1941...which is just crazy to me. And oh my, all those hot dogs... :)

    I had actually planned to work on the Fourth since I've had so much time off lately. But my sister convinced me to hang out with her instead. So I'll be traipsing around central Iowa with her. :)

    1. Have fun with your sister! It's never a wrong decision to take a day off to spend with a family member. :) Happy 4th! Don't forget to eat a hot dog or two!

  2. Enjoyable. Thank you for a great fact you provide here that I need to use for my WIP Historical.

    1. Delores, I can't wait to read your historical novel! Now I'm curious when it's set and what it has to do with the American Revolution!!

  3. Wow, awesome facts! Here you are teaching me history again. :)

    Mike and I have the morning off and then will head to his sister's house for a cookout and swimming! And there will be NO ticks!! ;)

    1. I can't help but teach history! ;) Have fun with Mike's family. We'll be heading to my in-law's place for the remainder of the week. Looking forward to spending time on the lake with the kiddos. Darby will have a blast with her brothers. And, no worries! I've never had a wood tick at my in-law's house. ;)


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